Sometimes students in the Azhar would exchange angry words or use very offensive language. One time some of Shaykh Salih’s students went to him and said, “Shaykh, did you hear what words those students are saying?”

The Shaykh replied (and we paraphrase), “I heard! My sons, these students spend all their time studying the Qur’an, and thus absorbing the powerful and majestic lights of the Qur’an; and studying the Hadith, and thus absorbing the lights of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace); and studying the Fiqh, and thus absorbing the light of knowledge and the light of the righteous scholars of the past who wrote it. Perhaps in these mistakes is a mercy for them, otherwise all those powerful lights would overwhelm them and be too much for them.”

Thus was Shaykh Salih, always giving the best interpretation to everything, and trying to think the best of every Muslim. And that is not surprising, for he is the descendant of imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (may Allah be pleased with them both), who said,

“If you hear about your brother something that you do not approve of, look for one excuse up to seventy excuses for him. If you find one, then let that be it. If you cannot, then say to yourself, ‘Perhaps there is yet another possible excuse that I do not know.’ ” (Narrated by Imam al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman).

Seated right angle shot

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